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New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues

New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues (41%) while the World’s most important problems are War & Terrorism (35%) just three weeks before NZ Election

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 966 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in July and August 2014. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and “What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?” The research conducted was both qualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).

Just three weeks before NZ heads to a National Election, Economic issues (41%, down 3% since May 2014) are still clearly the most important problems facing New Zealand however the biggest problems facing the World today are War & Terrorism issues (35%, up a huge 15% since May) now ahead of Economic Issues for the first time ever according to the latest Roy Morgan Research conducted in July and August 2014.

New Zealand views on Problems facing New Zealand
When asked about the most important problem facing New Zealand, 41% of New Zealanders mention some kind of Economic issue. This is down 3% since May 2014 but still well ahead of Social issues (24%, up 3%), Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues (19%, up 1%) and Environmental issues (6%, down 2%).

The most important Economic issues facing New Zealand include Poverty / The gap between the rich and the poor (18%, unchanged), Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar (9%, up 1%), Unemployment/ Job security (6%, down 2%) and the Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt (4%, down 1%).

Other important issues mentioned by New Zealanders are the Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government spending (7%, up 1%), Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance (5%, up 1%), Housing shortage/ Affordability (4%, down 1%) and Education (4%, up 1%).

New Zealand views on Problems facing the World
The biggest World problems are now War & Terrorism/ Security issues (mentioned by 35% of New Zealanders, up a huge 15% since May 2014), now in front of Economic issues (29%, down 5%) for the first time ever, Social Issues (14%, down 1%) and Environmental issues (11%, down 3%).

Among the War & Terrorism/ Security issues facing the World mentioned by New Zealanders included Wars and Conflicts/ Unrest (23%, up a large 11%), Religion/ Religious Conflict (5%, up 1%) and Terrorism (4%, up 2%).

Of the Economic issues facing the World mentioned by New Zealanders the most important are Poverty/ The gap between the rich and poor/ Imbalance of wealth (17%, up 1%), the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession (4%, down 3%) and Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt (3%, down 1%).

Other important issues are Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance (8%, up 1%), Climate change/ Global warming/ Ozone layer/ Greenhouse effect (5%, down 1%) and Government/ Politicians/ Political unrest/ Instability/ Greedy and corrupt governments (3%, down 1%).
Michele Levine says, CEO Roy Morgan says:
“Only three weeks before New Zealanders head to the polls to elect a new Government, Economic issues (41%, down 3% since May) are once again the most important problems facing New Zealand. The main Economic issues are Poverty/ The gap between the rich and the poor (18%), the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar (9%) and Unemployment/ Job security (6%).

“Social issues (24%, up 3%) and Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues (19%, up 1%) are also mentioned by large numbers of New Zealanders, but only a few mention Environmental issues (6%, up 2%). The most important problems frequently mentioned in these areas are Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government spending (7%), Social Apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance (5%), Education (4%) and Housing shortage/ Housing affordability (4%).

“The worries about Economic issues are directly reflected by the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence result for August which shows NZ Consumer Confidence dipping to 125.5 (down 7.2pts) – now at its lowest for nearly a year since October 2013 (122.3) but still significantly higher than in Australia (113.5). Last week’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows the National-led Government of John Key (48%) with a strong lead over a potential Labour/ Greens alliance (39%) although polling was completed largely before the recent revelations in Nicky Hager’s controversial new book ‘Dirty Politics’. Next week’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll due out on Wednesday afternoon will show the full impact of Hager’s revelations and whether they have dented Prime Minister John Key’s hope at winning a third term in office.

“For the first time since we began asking this question in New Zealand in November 2010 War & Terrorism/ Security (35%, up a massive 15%) is now regarded as the most important problem facing the World ahead of Economic issues (29%, down 5%). Clearly the high level of global unrest in trouble-spots including the Middle East with conflict in Iraq, Syria and between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and also the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine between forces loyal to the government in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists have made a large impression on New Zealanders. Wars & Conflicts (23%) is easily the single largest problem facing the World mentioned by New Zealanders ahead of Poverty/ The gap between the rich and the poor/ Imbalance of wealth (17%).”

These findings come from a special New Zealand Roy Morgan survey conducted with New Zealanders aged 14+ asked what are the most important issues facing New Zealand and the World today.
In New Zealand, a cross-section of 966 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in July and August 2014. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and “What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?” The research conducted was both qualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).

Link to full release

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